Work Health
Safety - WHS

Work Health Safety (WHS) For Business Managers

What Every Business Manager Needs To Know About Work Health Safety and Risk Management

Work Health Safety WHS

What is WHS?

Workplace health and safety (WHS) is a high-stakes responsibility. A significant percentage of work-related illnesses and injuries are caused by unsafe working conditions, as are the majority of occupational diseases. WHS is about managing the risk so that employees can carry out their duties without undue harm or disturbance to them, their colleagues and customers.

WHS also includes environmental aspects such as good air quality in the workplace; noise limits; fire protection; guardrails on stairs; and protective footwear for all workers who need it. WHS can help avoid employee fatigue which might otherwise be caused by too long hours spent at work, or inadequate rest time between shifts. 


How to prevent accidents in a workplace?

It is important to have your work environment in a good order and safety precautions should be taken when doing any job. Even though accidents can happen, it is possible to reduce the risk of them by taking certain measures. Make sure you are always paying attention and wear all proper protective gear if needed. To make sure your employees are safe from injuries, conduct interviews beforehand to know their skills, thoughts on safety and so on. This way they will be more aware of what could happen in dangerous jobs and also have access to any necessary jobs. You will know what kind of precautions are needed and how to implement them if you look at this situation from a different perspective.


What is a good definition for a WHS hazard?

A WHS hazard is any potential for harm to people and/or the environment. Risk management is deciding what risk to take, how much risk to take, and what benefits will come from taking that risk. Risk control measures are anything we do in order to reduce or manage the chance of a Hazardous event happening. Examples include lockout-tagout procedures, signage, awareness programs in your facilities about safety protocol etc., supply chain training on restricted substances like asbestos or lead paint PCBs etc., engineering controls such as limit switches or emergency shutoffs (Pull cords that trip power breakers when pulled) PPE material like gloves for splinters protection etc, administrative controls like an eye wash station near woodworking equipment etc., education campaigns about first aid and the use of PPE, training personnel in all aspects of hazardous materials handling etc., or property protection such as fences added around a chemical storage area to prevent unauthorized entry etc.


What is an example of a cultural hazard?

An example of a cultural hazard would be any activity or behaviour that is potentially hazardous to the health of individuals, their environment, and/or society.

Human health impacts are often primarily focused on infectious disease. Environmental hazards include water contamination, air pollution, ozone depletion. Society includes migration patterns, excessive population growth rates and pandemics. Global malnutrition is an often overlooked aspect of human health consequences which require greater consideration for addressing global development goals. There are also physical hazards such as those found at work (chemicals), in transport (road accidents) and at home (household cleaners).

In order to mitigate exposure to these cultural hazards one needs to understand the root causes, use appropriate practices and equip oneself with sufficient knowledge on how to deal with these.


What is meant by safety and health in the workplace?

The term "safety and health in the workplace" typically refers to measures taken or planned for the safety or protection of employees, as well as for contractors and visitors, from risks associated with chemical/physical agents, biological hazards, ergonomic stressors, radiation sources and/or other work related hazards.

A risk assessment is a thorough investigation of possible hazards that might exist within an establishment. Risk assessments should be performed before any activity is initiated so that undesirable consequences of incidents can be minimized without sacrificing efficiency. Working conditions are more than just ensuring medical facilities are available - it's also about providing a comfortable environment to work in (e.g., adequate lighting). Control measures are implemented when there are recognized accidents, exposures or illnesses but are not required for every situation. For example, administrative controls are put in place to ensure that employees do not engage in unsafe behaviour. Personal protective equipment is utilized to help keep the employee safe from possible injuries or illnesses due to a risk assessment.


What is the importance of Workplace Health and Safety?

Workplace health and safety is important because it's your responsibility to look out for the health and safety of yourself as an employee, but also that of your co-workers. You have a duty to provide a healthy work environment without risks that can hurt your employees or you. 

Legal responsibilities include enforcing rules and regulations so people don't do risky things in the workplace, like walking up stairs while carrying heavy boxes. Such regulations could be the storing hazardous substances at designated areas or notifying everyone when someone has been admitted into hospital from injuries at work. 

Health hazards can lead to occupational diseases such as cancer, repetitive strain injuries, heart disease, respiratory diseases such as asthma or chronic bronchitis due to irritants in the workplace. 

The responsibility for health and safety in the workplace lies with management, including directors and general managers. The employer has to make sure that all employees comply with all applicable laws, regulations and standards which ensure workers' health and safety at work.  


What is the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act is a federal law dealing with health and safety of workers in various industries. The act imposes duties on employers to provide safe and healthy working conditions for work employees. They must also train them in methods which will protect their mental, moral, social well-being, as well as the physical condition of such employees. Employers are required to maintain a workplace that is free from any possible dangers or sources of injury or illness for its employees. This includes fire hazards, hazardous materials, machinery guarding measures etc. Every employer has the duty to make sure they have a written policy outlining how these responsibilities apply to their business environment – including specific actions taken when an injury arises for one of their staff members at work. The Act directs a hierarchy of responsibility that extends from the employer to the supervisors, employees, and visitors. An employer is required by law to provide their workers with all necessary protection against hazards in the workplace. It also exposes employers to prosecution for work-related injuries or illnesses suffered by an employee at the workplace - including compensation claims they have with workers compensation policy.


What are examples of the best practices for construction safety?

Safety on a construction site is always important and can have significant ramifications for existing homeowners and businesses. Construction workers are faced with new risks every day, which is why safety training should be given to all members of the team. Always take the time to carefully review your safety practices and work with other professionals in different fields such as geology or engineering who will have an eye towards potential hazards before they arise. 

​Before starting any work, make sure you're ready for any eventuality by asking yourself these questions:

What sort of hazards do we need to consider that may present themselves here? What are our protection procedures against those hazards? When might this occur? How will we protect ourselves then?" What sorts of accidents should we be expecting?


Why is employee onboarding important?

One of the most important steps an organization can take in protecting the health and safety of its employees is ensuring that everyone knows what they are expected to do and how they are supposed to do it. The process of getting new employees oriented to the company—including their work space, equipment, policies, reporting relationships, etc.—is called onboarding. That way there's no confusion for new employees about how actions might affect themselves or others on their team as well as other teams within the company.

Employee onboarding typically begins with a welcome event at which managers provide overviews about leadership roles, expectations and goals for each team. It may also include introductions between co-workers so that individuals feel comfortable asking questions if they are confused about their new environment. The first few days may include formal or informal training topics, which can also be reinforced by managers and supervisors during one-on-one meetings throughout the initial few weeks of employment.

During onboarding employees are typically assigned a mentor to help them become acclimated to their new job responsibilities and company culture.


Why should you do health and safety training?

Making sure employees have been trained in the basics of health and safety is a crucial part of running a business. Safety training does not only cover the topic of workers' physical safety on site, it also covers all health-related safety aspects at work that could have an impact on their productivity and how often they get sick. This includes hazard prevention, risk assessment, personal protective equipment (PPE), ergonomics, and safe response to hazardous substances/situations. Failing to train employees or providing inadequate training can lead to injuries from machinery borne diseases such as hearing impairment due to high noise levels to sicknesses caused by chemical substances such as lung cancer from inhalation exposure. Last but not least it can lead to devastating accidents with fatalities or long-term disabilities.


WHS Definitions

Australian Mine Safety Journal?

Australian Mine Safety Journal is the only legal information mine safety journal published on-line in Australia. The journal encompasses new mining legislation, safety history hazard control, and technical features that are relevant to all mine personnel. It is also an important platform for sharing knowledge on all aspects of mine safety management with a global audience.


Dangerous Goods Assessments?

Dangerous goods are any items that pose a risk to the safety of people or property, and includes those common household items like bleach, paint, gas canisters and chemicals. Dangerous goods have specific requirements for safe transportation and storage.

As a general rule, carriers do not transport dangerous goods of any description on passenger ships without government authorisation.



Comcare Australia’s mission is to promote a healthy and safe working environment that supports the social, economic and environmental interests of Australians.

Some of Comcare's services include advising workers on health issues, enforcing relevant work health and safety legislation, providing employment assistance, investigating workplace injuries or potential breaches of the work health and safety legislation (eg by businesses or individuals), mediating disputes between some parties in relation to their obligations relating to worker welfare within certain types of enterprises. Comcare also provides some information on workplace health and safety to individuals, government departments, businesses and the general public including employers and employees.


Competent person

A Competent person is defined as someone who has the necessary expertise (knowledge, skills, and experience) to perform a task safely.

Typically those deemed competent are typically those with a great deal of experience or education in their field, but most importantly they can demonstrate competency on the job during trials for the specific tasks required. There's no certification course you can take to make yourself competent - it's something you earn largely through your work and demonstrated skills. This means that competence requires ongoing training and assessment as professional and technical knowledge evolve over time. For example: When new safety standards are introduced (such as Personal Protective Equipment), experts revisit old practices & methods of protection against hazards now deemed hazardous due to technological advancement in equipment availability or a change in the way they operate.


Confined Space

Any space, including a room and the plenum spaces of fireplaces, chimneys, furnaces or boilers that has any access restrictions which may lead to death or serious injury because of an atmospheric condition. Atmospheric conditions can include the presence of hazardous substances such as toxic gas (carbon monoxide), combustible materials (gases, vapours) or liquids; insufficient oxygen; dangerously low air pressure; lack of ventilation.

Employers have a duty to provide employees with adequate information about confined spaces hazards and risks in order to safeguard their safety 

Entry into confined spaces is subject to strict controls to minimize risk including systematic planning and assignment of various roles and responsibilities to workers and supervisors. Entry is prohibited until a thorough analysis of the confined space has been conducted. Hazardous atmosphere, lack of oxygen or presence of toxic gases are primary considerations in conducting these analyses.



Safety Consequences are the part of a safety philosophy that deals with what happens when someone does not follow the safety rules. In order to have good safety practices, every organization must define how they handle consequences for workers who violate their company's policies and procedures. Common Safety Consequence philosophies are found within the "Hierarchy of Controls", ranging from “a policy violation has no consequence" to "employee termination." It is important that organizations follow a similar hierarchy when developing an individualized Safety Policy which establishes what Safety Consequences will happen if a worker violates their company's workmanship standards.

If poor standards of equipment maintenance are practiced or implemented on site (including but not limited to proper usage by employees), it could lead to injury or death. Safety consequences must be publicized and enforced upon all employees who are responsible for work that could cause death, such as loading, maintenance, operation, etc.

Eliminating the consequence of employee termination is not a possible solution when dealing with violations of standard practices on a job site because workers might take more notice of their own well-being. However, on some job sites there might be a policy that simply states a warning will be given to the employee if he does not follow safety rules or safety practices. This is an effective way of enforcing consequences because it engages workers in trying to not violate the rules and therefore avoid punishment or discipline.


Context - External

Safety is the chance to avoid injury or illness, both for oneself and for others. The context of safety management is external and internal–both in the workplace, and otherwise. Safety can be managed by critically analysing any sources of risks (internal or external) which might impact health, productivity, environment, reputation etc., and implementing strategies and actions to manage them appropriately - often using a risk assessment process. "The practice makes perfect" – by taking all possible measures to prevent errors from happening in the first place; these include setting up an organization-wide system for managing safety such as a safety management system; ensuring engagement from top managers who must provide leadership through words and deeds; identifying potential issues before they become major problems; focusing on the duty of care (e.g., on the part of managers to identify hazards and implement controls, and on the part of employees to follow processes); focusing on prevention; involving individuals in identifying hazards and errors and developing a sense of ownership for safety management; recognizing that a culture shift may be needed from fix-it-afterward thinking to an emphasis on prevention; and implementing management procedures to provide a safety net when failures do happen.


Context - Internal

Safety contexts - all aspects of the work environment that are associated with safety risks, hazards and hazards and the way to manage them.

It is about identifying, controlling and managing hazards at risk to people's health while on duty. External issues such as weather conditions can be an important factor in this process. Internal issues include management policies, within a company's own control (health and safety management).

Internal And external Issues should always be considered in each of these areas for maximum protection for employees. All workplaces must have written Safety Policies that outline how employers will comply with Occupational Health And Safety Regulations (OHSR). These regulations state that employers need to implement adequate precautions so as not to endanger their employees' health or safety due to hazards associated with the use of any kind of work environments.

Employers should conduct periodic assessments that can help in identifying hazards and risks associated with each workplace, as well as creating action plans to strengthen safety policies and compliance with the regulations on occupational health and safety. Internal controls are used for these purposes.


Continual improvement

Continual improvement is the process of always seeking ways to make operations better, recognizing that mistakes happen but they are opportunities to get closer to perfection. The continual improvement process pursues small improvements of significant value, and allows for corrective action when deviations from expectations occur. The success experience feeds back into the continual-improvement efforts so gaps in performance between actual and expected results will be reduced over time.

The continual improvement process can also encompass long-term planning so your company is more prepared for what lies ahead as it adjusts to new technologies, developments in its industry, or competitive pressures. These plans help guide future investments and development activities by ascertaining where you want the organization's objectives to take it while maintaining a vigilant eye on trends that might threaten the company's future growth and profitability.


Control of risk

There are three aspects to the control of risk—assess, identify, and minimise. Risk assessments are employed to identify the stakeholders, assess their respective exposures, and make decisions about who should do what to manage risks. Identify impacts of risk events and generate recommendations for control measures that could be implemented in a timely manner (in advance or close-term) as well as rank priorities for short-, medium-, and long-term responses. Control measures are activities authorities undertake to minimise their potential exposure by way of preparation or anticipation. Control measures can either be passive (e.g., design structures with fewer opportunities for accidents) or active in nature (e.g., a traffic fence at an intersection). Low-cost effective measures that involve society (e.g., speeding up the traffic light cycle to reduce vehicle stops, or installing signs and lights at train crossings) are usually preferred over more expensive technological solutions (e.g., automatic train control).


Environmental Protection Authority

An environmental regulator is a government body with the responsibility of protecting and improving the environment. Environmental laws are often set in place by these entities as well. The term is also applied to bodies that regulate or control any other kind of pollution or environmental factor, such as noise pollution.

Environmental Protection Authority saves lives and protects communities by enforcing federal laws designed to limit human exposure to unsafe chemicals; mitigate damage from hazardous substances released into the environment; conserve natural resources including soil, air and water; prevent uncontrolled release into the environment of research laboratory contaminants, biomedical wastes...


Establishing the context

The safety strategy is the context. The risk management process is what determines the actions to be taken. Safety management includes all three, but a chosen strategy focuses on one of them more than another. For example, for most organizations the key goal in business operations is to increase revenue and decrease costs. Any accident that happens while doing that messes up this goal, so they risk it if they don't care about it at all and take risks without any strategies in place for managing them (as was traditionally done).

Process Safety Management Strategy seeks to control process hazards by applying principles of Hazard Prevention; Process Safety Protection; Emergency Planning and Response; Risk Management It's managed by identifying known or potential operability hazards through systematic aspects evaluating the potentials of system failure.



A safety event is an incident that causes or has the potential to cause harm, including illness, accidents, and early signs of stress. Safety events can be--but are not limited to--instances of exposure to hazardous materials, overexertion by personnel with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), serious near misses related to unintended releases of energy and other types of incidents.


Frequency rate

Safety frequency rate is a statistic that shows the number of injuries or lost-time accidents that occur per million hours worked. Therefore, workers in higher safety frequency rates are either at higher risk for hazardous exposure or are experiencing increased exposure due to their chosen occupation (ie welding). Low safety frequency rates would offer an increase in worker productivity and less time spent paying attention to Standard operating procedures and other occupational hazards. Whereas high safety frequency rates create a toxic work environment which also usually leads to low employee morale. 

However, before implementing any first-measures it is important to look at the business objectives first so as not to put undue stress on the company's bottom line. If you merely focus on numbers (safety rating) without an understanding of strategic planning you may find yourself with a (low safety rating) statistic which does not translate to increased return on investment.



Safety hazards are a major problem with workplace safety and the risk those hazards pose to an employee's health, well-being and life. A hazard is defined as something that may cause or contribute to injury. Workplace hazards come from many sources: the task being done (heavy lifting or repetitive motion), equipment deficiencies, natural environmental conditions (extreme heat or cold), a lack of proper training or supervision by employees in charge, chemicals on site without their labels marked, poor lighting for tasks performed at night for example. It is critical that employers create workplaces free of physical and psychosocial harm. This goal will not be accomplished without identifying all potential causes of harm that could result in serious accidents involving injury to bystanders or workers and then taking steps to eliminate them. One of the most important aspects of reducing safety risks is not only identifying potential hazards but then planning for ways to prevent injuries from occurring on site or leaving the job unscathed.


Hazard identification

Hazard identification is the process of identifying all potential hazards in a given job or process and taking steps to control them.

Hazards are anything that can cause injury to an individual. There are two types of hazards: (1) task-specific or ergonomic hazards; and, (2) environment-related conditions—e.g., air quality, noise levels, temperature extremes, water immersion.

Hazard identification assessment includes determining the best way to eliminate each hazard completely or mitigate its effect on the person performing a task so it is no longer hazardous for him/her to complete that task without endangering themselves. Control measures are taken as needed until the risk is minimized if at all possible by following first-line defences like good housekeeping.


Health and Safety Management Arrangements

Health and Safety Management Arrangements are the management arrangement of the Hazards that will occur within specific Organisations or Companies. This will break down into identifying Hazards, deciding who is responsible for which types of Hazard, how they are to be managed and monitored in order to minimise any Risk they pose to those potentially harmed by them. 

This can be implemented on a Person-to-Person basis where workers are given training so that they know what is expected of them when it comes to managing a given hazard at their work place, as well as on an Organisational level where various organisations merge together under one umbrella organisation in order to diversify the risks that both members share between themselves. Likewise, this can also be implemented even further at a National level where several organisations work together either in the same place or remotely to ensure that everybody is up-to-date with the latest and most kept health and safety product of their industry.


Health and Safety Representative

There are many different occupations in the world. One of them is Health and Safety Representative. Within the scope of these duties, it is the responsibility for individuals to assess employee health and safety conditions at work sites and identify hazards that put workers at risk. This work includes conducting inspections, training employees on safety practices, and implementing new health and safety procedures or changes if necessary. It also entails filing inspection reports with management (regarding complaints), having knowledge about needed emergency response resources like first aid kits as well as injury log books or accident reports (if available). These activities are taken in line with legislation governing law that deals with hazardous substances exposure, falls from heights, or exposure to serious machinery accidents. Health inspectors carry out these evaluations while ensuring the protection of workers rights. They also have to ensure that people who witness dangerous situations are protected from possible harm. This includes warning employees in an explicit manner regarding any imminent dangers and explaining what they should do when encountering hazardous work situations either while on the job or at home.


Health Surveillance

Health surveillance is used to assess the health risks of particular activities, identify new or emerging occupational hazards, and allow for the development and implementation of control measures. Biological monitoring involves collecting specimens from people who are exposed to hazardous substances in order to evaluate their exposure level. Occupational exposure is time spent at a job site that exposes oneself different chemical substances on an ongoing basis. Control measures are actions taken by authorities to reduce the health risk associated with a certain activity (ex: use respirator). Meanwhile health risks refer to possible injuries, illnesses or even death related to long term exposures/occupational hazards (ex: cancer).

Anyone who works in certain industries should take into account any potential health risks that they might be put at-risk for as a result of their work being done. Occupational health concerns are determined by the type of job that is being performed, length and amount of time spent on a certain specific task/job; or even if they are working in an environment with any chemicals. Some companies may provide safety information regarding substances that can be found within the workplace, including exposure levels that are considered safe, along with any other precautions to take during work hours.



A safety incident occurs when there is an injury or illness caused by a work-related activity, and it is classified as either "near miss" or a "reportable incident". A near-miss is when anyone would have been hurt but didn’t get hurt. A reportable incident is any event where someone was injured and/or had medical attention obtained. This could be from being interrupted while working at a job site by another person approaching them to ask about the progress of an item. Another example could be from when something was dropped on the floor while unloading off of a truck, causing immediate contact with the ground before going back into its container in order to avoid any possible harm - all of which are common incidents that can occur in a work environment that should be reported. 


Incident rate

The incident rate of a condition is the number of new cases in a population over the course of some defined time period, usually 1 year. The incidence is also calculated as a proportion using the following formula: Incidence Rate = (number living with condition)/ (population at risk). Calculating an incidence rate can help you determine how fast or slow something might spread over time.

It's important to include 3 other pieces of information when discussing the incident rate for any disease/condition: 

1) Number Living With The Condition - This refers to what percentage of people who are living with this particular condition have been included in your calculation so far. This can be estimated by simply taking one of the following - number of living with the condition at the start of study, number of new cases diagnosed in time period, or total population minus the number of people who have died by an incident rate calculation.

2) At Risk Population - This is essentially everyone living that didn't meet inclusion criteria and were not counted as one of the number living with the condition. 

3) Time Period - This is just a regular calendar year and is useful for comparing incidence rates of different illnesses/conditions.


Isolation Measures

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines isolation as "a control or restriction on the movement of people, material, air," etc. Once a worker has been deemed "safe" by an employer assistant, he or she can enter the workplace and partake in duties normally performed by staff. Isolation measures are precautionary; they help maintain safe environments when materials may be hazardous to one's health.

Are you looking for more information about barriers? You might consider a safety lockout padlock which limits access to certain areas that have hazardous chemicals inside. Barriers typically cut off contact with blood-borne pathogens which helps prevent infection after getting pricked by shared needles. And another type of barrier is called a valve lockout. 

Though steps are being taken to ensure a safe environment within the workplace, accidents do happen, and it's up to employers to provide employees with proper care when that happens. According to OSHA, "An employer must also see that any employee who sustains an exposure is removed from the source of exposure and decontaminated, if necessary. The employer must also provide emergency medical treatment to all employees who sustain an injury or occupational illness resulting from exposure at their worksite."


Job safety analysis

Job safety analysis is a process that identifies and reduces risk in the workplace.

A job safety analysis is required under OSHA's general duty clause, which requires employers to take steps to provide their workers with a "safe place" for work. The purpose of the JSA process is to identify, assess and evaluate hazards in order to choose and implement appropriate controls. When completed by an expert or experienced person it often offers systematic identification of potential risks that could be mitigated if better engineering controls are available or if additional training is mandated. 

The goal of any hazard control effort should not be simply shutting off all risks but rather mitigating them (reducing the exposure) as much as possible while balancing that consideration against worker safety, productivity and a reasonable exposure to risk.


Level of risk

The level of risk is a measure of the magnitude (intensity) and consequences (e.g., injury or death) of some potential harm. It's important to think about how likely a given event is to happen, because the likelihood that something will happen changes its perceived severity. For instance, if you have two job offers and one pays substantially more but has greater risks associated with it, most people would agree that you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding which offer to accept. 

Interestingly, the perception of risk associated with any given event is based on how we process information. In other words, if you have a low tolerance for risk and are considering buying or building a house in an area that has traditionally had more cyclones than the national average, your decision may be swayed by one isolated incident when a cyclone hit very close to a house you were considering buying. 



It's probability, basically looking at all the possible outcomes and figuring out what is most likely to happen. It shows the risk of something happening as a factor of that probability going from low (say less than 5% chance) through medium (around 50%) to high (>95%). Low chance of something bad probably won't happen, high chance will happen. There's a lot of science behind it and there will be some concepts here that you may not understand, but basically we want to work out what is the most likely outcome. 


Lost Time Injury

A Lost Time Injury is a work injury which causes the worker to be away from the workplace for more than one day.

A LTI can be caused by anything that would make it unsafe to return to work--from a sprained ankle or other minor injury, to death on the job--without having time for recovery. 

It's important though not just because of how costly they are overall, but because they're often leading into broader issues that cause productivity decline and even occupational injuries respectively. In other words, when you have an employee who's off recovering for a period of time and you want them back as soon as possible, that usually means finding out why the accident happened in order to prevent recurrence in future situations.


Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate

The Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate is a measure of the frequency with which an accident or injury leads to

1) days away from work, 

2) wages lost, and/or 

3) medical treatment. 

More often than not these accidents are due to manual labour in industries like construction. 

Essentially this allows employers to see what the risk is that someone on their site may fall victim to one of these injuries. The higher the number, the more likely it will happen in your workplace depending on such factors as how good your safety training is and the safety risks inherent in that industry.

For example: Construction has a higher rate than other industries because there are more hazards related activities such as scaffolding, saws, and heights.


Occupational overuse

With occupational overuse injury, the muscles and tendons of the hands or forearm may become overloaded and injured due to repetitive movements. When you perform a repetitive movement it can overload your tissue structures leading them to be in pain, spasm or even rupture. These injuries can be avoided by replacing these motions with different ones when caught as they are occurring.


Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking

The primary duty of care for a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) is the health and safety of its workers. As well as ensuring that the workplace is free from hazards, PCBU must also ensure that employees are aware of all dangers and risks in their working environment, provide adequate training to minimize exposure to risks, maintain a safe system of work for hazardous activities, and select appropriate personal protective equipment when required by law.



Application of plant (i.e. machinery, equipment, appliance, container, implement) in the workplace environment to facilitate completion of a task or type of work

A workplace plant includes any item that is not human-operated and is used for business operation: machine, power tools and equipment; appliances; tools; supplies such as containers and implements; landscaping features such as trees or ground cover on the outside grounds where only minor touch-up needs to be done with no use of chemicals. Most plants need some routine supervision to stay operating at maximum efficiency. Some require more hands-on attention than others depending on their complexity and size.

Another set of plants are often called "inside plants." They include desktop items like computers servers , appliances such as heating and cooling systems, etc. An inside plant may only require routine monitoring, but some may also need regular maintenance.

This list includes disused plants whose equipment has been removed from a worksite, and are used for light duty or other temporary roles until replacement plants are brought in.



Monitoring is the act of closely observing or inquiring into someone's activities for the purpose of examination, observation and/or supervision. Commonly, monitoring involves regular checking with varying degrees of intensity on what an individual is doing or has done as well as making decisions about possible consequence. Monitoring is often used for work-related tasks that need to be performed according to certain types and rules. The level and frequency can differ depending on company policy, common sense best practices and legislation. 


Reasonably practicable

Reasonably practicable is a term of art used in English law to illustrate an employer's duty of care and best practice. It is meant as a general benchmark for judging the exercise of care that would be appropriate for an average person, taking into account the whole range of actions from completely unsafe to perfect safety.

The risks are easiest to manage when they are imminent or potential in nature. In this case, employers should mitigate the risk by implementing preventive measures such as training staff about procedures beforehand, scheduling staff responsibly, setting up procedures like silent alarms on machinery and providing sufficient rest periods.


Residual risk

Residual risk can come about in a variety of circumstances. When an organization faces residual risk, it will have to pay the price for any risks that remain after its new methods reduce the overall risk. This treatment is often useful when addressing risks with multiple lines of defence or safety measures, or residuals that persist. Residual risk is especially important in cases where only one line of defense remains following application of all available resources. In those cases, management's task is to determine whether the system's remaining vulnerability should be addressed and controlled by other methods as part of an insurance policy against unforeseen developments over which management has no control and cannot protect against by scaling up other defences or consequences.



Workplace Review is an approach to risk management which addresses how many companies evaluate the risks in their organization, what they do about them, and how they measure their progress. A review allows organizations to set goals and define objectives for engaging all staff with a structured plan. 

The total cost of turnover including replacement costs creates a significant cost in both financial resources as well as human losses to the business that are not incorporated into an organization's profitability calculations.



When someone or something is subjected to uncertainty, that individual will be at risk. Risk can take many forms depending on the context, and it can either be calculated quantitatively or qualitatively. Quantitative risk assessment calculates factors in a given situation and determines an event's likelihood of happening within a selected time frame, while qualitative risk analysis takes more subjective elements into consideration. In terms of consequence, there are two types of risks: systemic and personal level. Personal level risks are typically those incurred during high impact periods in our lives such as driving its own car or taking out a loan; these situations happen periodically with little time between them and pose a greater direct threat to the person undertaking them than day-to-day events do to the average person . Systemic level risks, however, are those that pose a risk to the stability of an entire system; these risks can be both positive or negative and were mostly created by human intervention.


Risk assessment

Risk is an uncertain event or condition that could have either a positive or negative effect on an entity (an individual, company, country). Risk assessment is the process of identifying risks, evaluating each risk's probability and potential impact. This includes the steps of risk identification and for quantifying it through various techniques. The results allow the business to gauge their ability to cope with those risks.

Risk management is a systematic process that attempts to deal with risk "in a holistic manner". It usually focuses on identifying and quantifying threats, loss prevention, contingency planning and crisis management. The fundamental issues involve determining what kinds of risk are acceptable, how much time , money, and effort is available in order to deal with risk.


Risk analysis

Risk Analysis is the process of a thorough examination of all potential risks that could affect an individual/organization. Essentially, it's a means to quantify and analyse any potential threats in order for one to make informed decisions on how they choose to act/not act about those risks.

It can be done with many different types of scenarios from financial investments, environmental factors, tools that are necessary for survival (homes), etc. There are two main levels within risk analysis: qualitative and quantitative formats. Qualitative focuses more on deciding which risks are important than determining specific numbers related to the risk so it's easier for someone who does not have extensive numerical knowledge or experience in finance (it also avoids decision-making biases). Quantitative focuses less on the importance of each risk, but rather on how much one can lose if a particular risk does occur.


Risk criteria

probability (chance) and magnitude (degree or severity). Risk assessment can refer to what type of risk you're assessing, with more than one type containing strategies for measuring magnitude. Once calculated, risks are ranked in order of their magnitude. A risk matrix is a simple way to categorize possible outcomes into three categories: unfavourable-likely outcome; favourable-unlikely outcome; risk mitigation can be any actions taken that will impact one or both types of probable outcomes.

It's important not only to know the probability/magnitude but also how likely it is that different scenarios will affect your business - because these effects will be quantified differently depending on the business. For example, if you own a construction company and there's a chance of rain for most of the day on Saturday, that doesn't mean your revenue will drop dramatically; but if it rains while your crew is actually working on a job site, you could lose thousands of dollars in wasted labour.


Risk evaluation

Risk evaluation is the measure of safety against which potential hazards are evaluated. This means that the risk evaluation step tells us what happens if a hazard actually materializes, be it an asset or a system at-risk; how much loss there will be and its frequency, potential adverse effects on society and environment, relative exposure to such risks. 

It is composed by management of three components: risk analysis, risk criteria and risk rating. In this first stage an in-depth assessment is developed about the hazard which has been recorded as possible source of problem to know its characteristics (prediction), evaluating how dangerous it could become (exposure) with focusing on each aspect that defines it like damage likelihood or consequences (severity).


Risk management

Risk management is the process of identifying, analysing, and prioritizing risks before considering controls to address those risks. A risk management plan includes a sense of who will be responsible for each task. The goal is not only to eliminate all potential risk but also to balance the cost of possible future losses against any gains that may help offset them. Risk management is a continual process of identifying, analysing, prioritizing and communicating all the risks pertinent to operations.

Each company should have a documented risk management policy and all employees should be trained to follow the risk management process.


Risk management process

Risk Management is a process to identify, quantify and control potential risks which may be the cause of any damage or adverse impact on business. It encompasses identifying risk sources and analysing potential outcomes as well as reviewing managerial options for handling these risks.

The process includes two phases - risk assessment followed by risk treatment. Risk assessment phase deals with its identification while the treatment phase deals with assessing economic implications associated with various handled risks, communication plans related to concerned stakeholders etc.

Risk management has always been an integral part of the modern culture, especially in large organizations where it can affect significant income streams and expenditures if not properly managed in time. 


Risk owner

A Risk Owner is an individual who identifies, accepts and manages the risk. The responsibility for Risk Ownership can be allocated to different individuals depending on company culture and organizational structure. In some companies it is reserved primarily for line managers, in other organizations it has a broader definition of employees throughout the organization, all potentially with different exposures to risks that need to be managed or responded to. Company cultures will determine which type of allocation works best but one thing most people agree on is that someone needs to own their risks! 


Risk source

Risk source is the first step in identifying and categorizing risks. A risk element is a situation or thing that could cause harm to an organization, such as a natural disaster. Management risk occurs when employees are not able to adequately manage possible consequences of the risk elements.

Other sources of risk include major events (e.g., war, terrorism), incidents (e.g., safety issues, cyberattacks) and crises (e.g., product recall). By associating risks with these two categories of risk sources it is easier to identify potential fixes for such problems because one can prioritize different findings based on which category they fall under - either management or environmental/unforeseen event-related problem(s). The goal would be to manage the risk elements to decrease the likelihood of an incident or crisis occurring.


Risk treatment

Risk assessment is an examination and evaluation of the risks involved in a course of action.

Risk treatment plans take into account the severity, likelihood, and rate at which harm can come to someone, or something. The goal of a risk treatment plan is not only to address those factors that could lead to harm - but also to evaluate other possible outcomes. For example - creating mitigating steps for if an accident happens. Or asking what would happen if I had worse case scenario?

Risk treatment options include:

-Avoiding or removing hazards that might cause misfortune; 

-Reducing exposure by reducing dose or duration; 

-Mitigating harm through addition stimulus (such as alarms and tagging); 

-Eliminating a hazard, by adding borders (such as fences or railings) 

-Providing rescue and emergency services; or

-Training and education initiatives to improve safety.



A safe work environment is essential for the health and well-being of every worker. It includes the physical safety of a workplace, as well as the personal safety from violence or harassment and protection from on-the-job injuries.

Employers are legally required to ensure that their employees are not put at risk by unsafe working conditions. This responsibility falls within OSHA’s workplace regulations and it can be difficult to track injuries in this regulation because someone who is injured may quit without reporting it, but if they were still employed and unable to work, they would likely be listed as an injury. A successful company should have reduced rates of workers compensation claims which generally means that workers feel safe in their workplace and know what's expected of them and what is forbidden.


Safety Auditing

Safety auditing is the process of inspecting a company's safety program to evaluate it for compliance with industry standards and identify any areas where they need an improved environment plan. 

Working at heights, working with moving machinery, workplace stress, and making sure anyone using hazardous chemicals came in contact with the correct training are all examined during mobile audits. And just like the program being reviewed, safety audits are regularly done to update updated corporate standards that might have been revised or added since its last inspection--allowing companies to have a documented and up-to-date set of policies that promote both employee health and peace of mind.


Safety Risk

Safety Risk is the risk of injury, illness or other harm posed by a particular situation.

As we work with our hands every day - using tools, moving equipment around and handling hazardous materials - it is easy to cause serious injury to ourselves if we're not careful. So recognizing these hazards are more important than ever because injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to devastating blowouts that may leave us permanently injured or disabled for life - as well as downtime on the job. All of this can lead into an expensive problem for both you and your company equally.


What is a dangerous incident?

The definition of an incident varies by industry, but the general definition is "any unexpected occurrence that endangers life, health or property." In occupational safety and health it can mean a major injury or illness, damage to any plant, electric shock or explosion.

One cause of incidents is due to unsafe work practices. Unsafe work practices are when workers don't use proper safety equipment such as gloves, goggles and hardhats; they try to do a job without knowing how; they ignore warnings about hazardous materials in the workplace; they don't follow instructions from supervisors about what to do in an emergency; and they use defective equipment or tools.


What is a notifiable incident?

A notifiable incident is the reporting of injury or illness, dangerous incident, collapse or failure to relevant regulatory frameworks and trigger other required actions.

Notifiable incidents are treated as one of the most important issues in occupational health and safety because they are visible symptoms that industry may have difficulties maintaining an hazardous working environment. These symptoms provide us with evidence about what types of hazards exist on site and where they are located. Not only that, but notifiable incidents can also provide clues at resolving long-standing OH&S problems by identifying priorities for strategic investment (e.g., hazard identification). Additionally, a collection system plays an important role in determining early warning indicators so that changes towards unsafe levels can be detected before these changes reach catastrophic proportions.


What is a radiation accident?

A radiation accident is one that involves exposure to radioactive material. Radiation accidents occur when people mishandle or incorrectly use radiation sources, such as X-ray machines, and these sources are not properly shielded. Radioactive materials can cause damage to the body when they enter the area near the scalp or hairline, or other parts of skin - this damage will happen even if a person never feels pain because cells are dying without leaving an obvious sign for the incident. It’s important to be cautious when handling hazardous materials like radioactive substances because high levels of radiation can mean significant injury or death if ignored from prolonged exposure.


What is a serious injury or illness?

A serious injury or illness is a condition that renders the victim, regardless of their occupation, unable to perform some or all of tasks that are typically considered part of their daily job functions. Many people will have an event and return to work with instructions on how to manage future episodes so they can maintain a healthy lifestyle. If not managed well, these injuries can cause undue stress over time and actually increase the severity of an individual's symptoms too.

If you suspect a worker has suffered from such an incident then it's important to inform your employer.


WHS management system

A WHS management system is a program of how to safeguard the safety and health of workers in their workplaces. Within the system, management ensures that there are no occupational hazards for workers. It typically includes frequently assessing personal factors at work or home which may have an impact on the worker's ability to perform safely and ensuring that rehabilitation measures are available for any injured worker.

It also usually includes providing information, instruction and training programs (such as occupational health) for all employees so they know how to protect themselves from workplace dangers; require them to wear appropriate PPEs where necessary; appoint safety representatives or supervisors (that comprehensively represent all work groups); provide adequate space, facilities, machinery and equipment.


WHS objectives

Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) has four main objectives. These are the reduction of workers' risk exposure through a safe work culture, elimination or minimization of unintentional workplace injuries and illnesses that is found through systematic analysis, prevention programs; as well as preventive actions regarding occupational hazards.

Continuous improvement refers to the process of identifying weaknesses in safety standards and working with employees to measure performance improvements for continuous development. There are various new approaches being used in order to maximize productivity combined with maintaining a safe work environment like "total productive maintenance". This practice includes preventative measures such as replacing equipment before it fails rather than after it breaks down. 


WHS performance

At its simplest, WHS performance is the degree to which employers comply with relevant legislative requirements and the standards set by industry bodies and codes of practice. Compliance with legislative requirements means companies may require workers to wear appropriate PPE or fall arrest safety harnesses; provide adequate ventilation in confined spaces; alert management when risks arise, etc. The standards set by industry bodies usually mean companies must operate within safe environments - meaning no work tasks are undertaken if they can't carry them out without risk of harm coming into play . Code of practice compliance means a company will need staff training on hazards associated with their work, not undertake work beyond their capability level considering issues like health and fitness levels or skillset.


WHS policy

Work Health And Safety is a policy that has been developed to govern what actions companies and employees can take in various work scenarios in order to prevent any injury or accident from occurring. Such policies are often required for companies who employ staff or operate machinery, but may be extended to include guides on workplace etiquette as well. These policies ensure employees know about hazards like machinery hazards (such as the dangers posed by broken tools, hazardous materials around the company premises), safety precautions (such as wearing eye protection while working with chemicals) and information on how to report injuries if they do occur. There are many steps that you can follow to make sure your workplace is compliant with WHS policy, including proper training of staff and new hires.


WHS professional

WHS professionals help businesses stay compliant with regulations and provide consumers with safe goods. Many employers require their employees to complete safety training courses, as safety awareness increases productivity and builds a more successful company culture. Safety requirements for various industries vary; it can be beneficial for workers to take specialized education courses in order to ensure they're equipped to respond appropriately when unsafe conditions arise on the job.

Professional WHS programs typically include instruction on subject matters such as emergency response procedures, occupational hazards, construction site procedures, and more. It's important that all workers have certification--including labourers--as injuries are often related or preventable through the use of protective gear. 


Worksafe QLD

Worksafe QLD is a government statutory body whose mandate is to promote safety, health and wellbeing across Queensland workplaces. They can offer expertise in the following areas-

  • Safety programs, information and education services review- online/ paper assessments, site inspection, risk management advice
  • Investigations into accidents that occur at work addresses any root causes of those events/incidents through tailored courses of action as deemed appropriate for your workplace (eg. Corrective actions) 
  • Health surveillance service- help assess workers’ health by testing workers on criteria like asbestos levels in the lungs or general exposure risks like organophosphate pesticides etc. and provide follow up support if required
Work Health Safety